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Book Club Questions
for "Deadly Transformation"

Detailed Discussion Ideas

Warning: some questions contain SPOILERS!


  1. Before Trudie boarded the plane, what major emotion did she evoke in you as a reader?

  2. What are Trudie’s weaknesses? What quality of hers stood out the most?

  3. How effective are Paxton’s attempts to transition Trudie from anxiety to tranquility?

  4. How would you describe Trudie’s beliefs between the realm of spirituality and superstition?

  5. In five words or less, how would you define Trudie? Paxton?

  6. If you were in Trudie’s position, how would you respond to the events after she left her homeland?

  7. What do you think will happen when Trudie reaches the United States?


Chapter One

  1. Kelcy portrays herself to others as a strong, confident woman. As a reader who knows little about her, how true do you think this soundness of mind really is?

  2. What controversial issue is addressed in the beginning of the chapter? How do you feel about Kelcy’s wavering belief between right and wrong?

  3. Of the three executives from Tellurian Oil & Gas, how would you describe each one in a single word?

  4. Do you know anyone who endured emotional and verbal abuse during their childhood? If so, how did it affect them? How did they recover as an adult?

  5. What changes does Kelcy need to make if she is going to succeed at achieving her goals? How important is it that she not be recognized from the reality show?

  6. How relevant do you feel this story is going to be in light of current issues and events?

  7. How do you feel about the author’s writing style? Do you find uncustomary wording to be a distraction? Does the intentional diversion from some grammatical rules strengthen or weaken the flow of the story?


Chapter Two

  1. What past events shape Trudie’s personality? What motivates her thoughts and actions?

  2. Trudie is dealing with several common women’s issues. What are they and how do they manifest?

  3. How does Paxton deal with Trudie’s emotional instability? What, if anything, would you change about his approach?

  4. Do you like Marina? Will she be a good friend to Trudie, someone who will lift her up and rechannel her world of misery?


Chapter Three

  1. How realistic is the relationship between Kelcy and Colby in modern society? Would the flirtatious exchanges be acceptable in an office environment?

  2. What are Kelcy’s psychological struggles in this chapter?

  3. Why does Kelcy doubt Colby’s motivations? Has he done something wrong? How do you feel about him?

  4. Does the confrontation with Mr. Sandoval weaken Kelcy’s drive to succeed? Do you think her newfound self-confidence will prevail in the midst of this new hurdle?

  5. At the end of the chapter, what advice would you give Kelcy as she prepares to face Mr. Sandoval?


Chapter Four

  1. Put yourself in Kelcy’s place when Mr. Sandoval reached for her hand. Would you have frozen like she did?

  2. Why do you think Paxton has such esteem for Kelcy? By what you know of him so far, do you believe Paxton is concerned about protecting the company from a lawsuit, or does the protection of his assistant matter more?

  3. Colby has now expressed a romantic interest in Kelcy. How would you like to see their relationship progress? Is Colby someone you approve of for Kelcy?

  4. When Kelcy detailed Mr. Sandoval’s new look, what was your first thought?

  5. As you read the sexual harassment scene, what emotions did you feel?

  6. Sexual assault and harassment are a long-standing issue in the work environment. How do you feel Kelcy handled it? What would you tell her to do differently?


Chapter Five

  1. Why did Kelcy shun Colby for two months? She wanted to be with him. What held her back?

  2. How did you feel as the beginning of the Christmas party unfolded? Did the setting in uptown Houston contribute to the glamour of Kelcy’s production?

  3. Kelcy experiences three different personalities of the executive’s wives. How do you think each of these women see Kelcy?

  4. Kelcy and Colby’s relationship progresses dramatically in this chapter. Now that she has this childhood dream of love, Kelcy fears the worse – Colby discovering her participation on a reality show. Should she really be so worried? Why or why not?


Chapter Six

  1. Trudie is consumed with jealousy after meeting her husband’s assistant. Besides the fact that Kelcy is pretty, what do you think triggered it?

  2. How did you feel about Paxton after the fight?

  3. Trudie has become tired of Marina’s controlling nature, but she calls her after the fight for consolation. What would you have suggested she do instead of that?

  4. Describe Estella in one sentence. Before the consultation with her , were you drawn to her? Did you feel she was going to be able to help Trudie?

  5. How realistic, or conversely how unrealistic, did you find the scene when Trudie witnessed Estella in a spirit body? How far beyond the author’s imagination is something like this in real life?

  6. What conclusion did Trudie make at the end of the chapter?


Chapter Seven

  1. Were you disappointed that Kelcy and Colby agreed to meet only on a friendship basis?

  2. What did you learn about Kelcy and Colby individually from their backstory?

  3. Colby advances at the restaurant without wasting a moment. Was he too forward by the physical touches during dinner and the attempted kiss when they left? After all, this was their first real date outside of their usual friendship.

  4. How do you think Colby is going to prove himself to be a man worthy of respect? What are Kelcy’s expectations of him now?


Chapter Eight

  1. How has Trudie changed in the year since her move to the United States? Which qualities, positive and/or negative, have not changed?

  2. What is your impression of the Rumfola family? Do you like Raffaela? What kind of person is she?

  3. Trudie knows that London is a safer place than the Caribbean, yet she decides to go to the more dangerous destination. Why?


Chapter Nine

  1. Kelcy and Colby have their first fight. Do you feel that Kelcy was too harsh? Would you have rejected Colby’s advances like she did?

  2. In modern society, sexual promiscuity is considered a norm at an early age. Hollywood glorifies sex and lowers the standards women set for themselves. Do you admire Kelcy for standing her ground in the midst of temptation?

  3. Did you sense something was wrong with Colby since he didn’t treat Kelcy with respect as he usually does? How did you feel about him at the end of the chapter?

  4. Do you think Kelcy will give Colby another chance?


Chapter Ten

  1. How surprised were you by the twist in this chapter?

  2. Trudie is in early pregnancy when she finds out that she has a 12-year-old stepson who is coming to live with her. How would you feel? Is Collin going to be an intrusion?

  3. If you could give Trudie one piece of advice, what would it be?


Chapter Eleven

  1. Do you feel Colby merited to be ignored and rejected by Kelcy? Do you feel sorry for him?

  2. Why is Kelcy so unreasonable during this chapter? Should she really be so mad?

  3. What do you think is going to happen next?


Chapter Twelve

  1. Do you think Trudie is partially excited about Collin’s arrival, or is she just trying to be strong?

  2. Have you ever spent time or even had a conversation with a youth from the U.K. or Europe? If so, did you notice how much more mature he or she seemed than American kids?

  3. What kind of father do you think Paxton is going to be to Collin?

  4. Do you think Trudie’s life would be better if she’d never met Paxton?


Chapter Thirteen

  1. Jarrod Sandoval approaches Kelcy in a romantic environment with the idea that he can come into her good graces. What would you have done differently in her shoes?

  2. Did you struggle to read the attempted rape scene? Do you or someone you know have a personal experience with this?

  3. After Colby rescues Kelcy, he apologizes for his behavior. Why does he equate his actions to that of Jarrod?

  4. If you were Kelcy, what would you have done upon your return to the hotel room?


Chapter Fourteen

  1. Why did Trudie want to help Kelcy, one of her former objects of jealousy?

  2. Trudie takes a proactive initiative to distract Kelcy from the incident, even going so far as to provide physical touch to calm her. Is it ironic that Kelcy reveals the ‘older sister’ resemblance?

  3. By the end of the chapter, do you think Trudie is more angry about the incident, or more sympathetic for Kelcy?

  4. What part do you think Trudie will play in Kelcy’s life, if any?


Chapter Fifteen

  1. Did you become emotional, tear up, and/or cry when Colby arrived to help Kelcy go to sleep?

  2. How does Tellurian’s executive team feel about Kelcy? Do you think they wanted her to stay? Why or why not?

  3. What do you think is going to happen next in the story?


Chapter Sixteen

  1. How does Kelcy feel about herself in the presence of Trudie and Raffaela in the lobby before they leave for the beach? Any self-conscious woman would feel the same, right?

  2. Colby promises to abide by Kelcy’s ‘no sex before marriage’ rule. In this day and age, do you think it’s realistic for a man to refrain from sexual activity until he’s taken vows? How often do you think this happens?

  3. Were you expecting Kelcy to reveal her transformation at this point? Were you surprised by the type of change she went through?

  4. Colby knew Kelcy’s secret all along, yet he never told her. Kelcy vacillates between anger and admiration. Should he have told her sooner?


Chapter Seventeen

  1. Trudie takes Kelcy under her wing in an attempt to provide Kelcy with the additional clothes she would need for the extended trip. What are her motives for doing so?

  2. How does Trudie feel differently about Kelcy after their conversations in Trudie’s room?

  3. Did you anticipate that Estella would return to Trudie’s life?


Chapter Eighteen

  1. Have you watched a weight loss reality show? If so, is there a particular contestant Kelcy reminds you of?

  2. Kelcy’s soul turmoil was caused by a very common problem in the U.S. – childhood abuse. It led her down a path of self-destruction as she sought the wrong ways to cope. What are some other things people do to rebel?

  3. Why did the show change Kelcy’s life? Was it the physical transformation, or something more?


Chapter Nineteen

  1. What do you think Collin’s role is in this novel?

  2. Mrs. Fox is Collin’s hard-headed nanny who trained him to be mature beyond his years. Do you feel like she overdid it? Or is Collin all the better for it?

  3. What does Collin want from his father and Trudie?


Chapter Twenty

  1. Do you have alcoholics in your family? Any stories to tell?

  2. Now you know why Colby behaved wrongly toward Kelcy upon his return from Brazil. Are you mad at Kelcy for shunning him when he needed her most?

  3. Colby has done the unthinkable. In spite of Kelcy’s invitation to do with her as he pleased, he refused to go back on his promise. How many guys would do that?!?


Chapter Twenty-One

  1. How do you feel about Mike? Is he just a homeless person wandering about? Or does he have some kind of mission?

  2. In your adulthood, have you ever had a close friendship with a woman such as that of Kelcy and Trudie? Why did the two women take to each other so quickly?

  3. Is Trudie overreacting when she sees Estella again? Why is she so afraid of the woman?


Chapter Twenty-Two

  1. Why does Kelcy believe Trudie’s unimaginable story? She seems almost as scared as Trudie!

  2. What type of person is Father Benjamin? How old do you think he is?

  3. After Father Benjamin’s account of violence on the islands, would you go if you were offered an all expense paid vacation there? If so, which precautions would you take?


Chapter Twenty-Three

  1. There are three points of view in this chapter: Trudie, Collin and Kelcy. What are the roles of each one? What are they feeling?

  2. How do you feel at the conclusion of this chapter? Happy? Nervous? Both?


Chapter Twenty-Four

  1. Kelcy’s determination on the reality show not only influenced Colby to improve his life, but drove the force to set aside his weaknesses. Has anyone on a reality show affected you in a similar way?

  2. Before they met, were Colby’s feelings for Kelcy merely infatuation? Was he absurd and delusional, as he thought of himself, to think that destiny brought them together?


Chapter Twenty-Five

  1. The story quickly transitions from singing the birthday song to an innocent girl, to a violent attack. What were your initial thoughts? Did you recognize what was happening?

  2. Trudie believes Kelcy to be dead. She fears for her own life. All she can think of is the omen spoken by Estella. Should Trudie have obeyed Estella’s command not to travel with her husband?

  3. Now that Collin has rescued Trudie from possible death, scared off the intruders, and saved everyone else in the house, what do you think of him? Could a kid his size and age really do such a thing?


Chapter Twenty-Six

  1. Colby is consumed by his love for Kelcy. How do you feel for him knowing what’s happening to Kelcy just a short distance away?


Chapter Twenty-Seven

  1. Kelcy accepts the fact that she is dying. Her final wish is for Trudie to forget about Estella. Why?

  2. Collin was the only one not severely injured during the attack. He takes control of everything, ensuring they’d never have to step back into that house again. How could such a young kid think so rationally at such a time?


Chapter Twenty-Eight

  1. How is Colby mentally weak when he learns of the attack? How is he strong?

  2. What do you think Kelcy would tell Colby right now?


Chapter Twenty-Nine

  1. Trudie believes in luck based solely upon superstitious notions. Everyone in her life, excluding Paxton, has pronounced their faith in God. Do you think these influences, combined with the living nightmare, might make her think twice about spirituality?


Chapter Thirty

  1. The housekeeper announces that someone died in the attack. Colby insists Kelcy is alive. He feels it in his heart. Is he in denial?


Chapter Thirty-One

  1. Do you think Kelcy is the one in the morgue covered by a sheet?


Chapter Thirty-Two

  1. Why was Trudie trying to be so strong for Paxton when she was the one who suffered from the attack?

  2. Colby sees Kelcy, lifeless in the morgue. Were you mad when you read this part?

  3. Did you hope that somehow Kelcy was still alive?

  4. Colby has rescued Kelcy once again. Was it fate? Coincidence? Did he really know, as he felt earlier, that she had not departed?


Chapter Thirty-Three

  1. What does Father Benjamin’s flower analogy mean?

  2. In the middle of Sister Seraphine’s prayer, Trudie learns that Kelcy is alive. How could she doubt the hand of God in this?


Chapter Thirty-Four

  1. After four days, Kelcy awakens with amnesia. Colby sees the vacancy in Kelcy’s eyes, knowing that she has no recollection of him. Why did he leave? Why didn’t he at least try to help her remember?


Chapter Thirty-Five

  1. It’s been less than a week since the attack. Besides the jitters, Trudie seems fine. How would you feel in her place?

  2. Paxton wants Colby back at the office in the midst of devastating circumstances. Is that unreasonable of him? If Colby were your boyfriend, would you be upset that he didn’t stay by your side?


Chapter Thirty-Six

  1. Kelcy takes the blame for her downfall, but her mother insists it was her fault. What do you think? Are they both right?

  2. What obstacles did Kelcy have to overcome to forgive her mother? Could she have done it so quickly without the reality show? Typically, childhood abuse, in whatever form, takes many years for recovery.

  3. Do you think it was right for Mary and Colby to lie about what happened? Why didn’t they want to tell Kelcy about the attack?


Chapter Thirty-Seven

  1. Everything seems to have a positive outlook in the lives of all characters until Colby discovers that Kelcy’s amnesia returned. Since her memories resurface to the time after she won the competition, do you think Colby has a better chance of winning her back?


Chapter Thirty-Eight

  1. What did you expect to happen between Kelcy and Colby upon their reunion? Is there something about this chapter you would have changed?

  2. Are Kelcy’s thoughts, words and actions rational for a brain trauma victim? In real life, how would you imagine someone in her position?

  3. Colby is determined to help Kelcy remember some of their past, while at the same time realistic it might not happen. How do you feel about his resilience? Are there circumstances when someone might give up on their loved one who’s lost all memory of their past?


Chapter Thirty-Nine – Forty

  1. Kelcy vacillates between reason and emotion as she soars from highs to lows. Ultimately, she comes to a conclusion: she never should have gone on the show in the first place. What do you think her life would be like at that point if she hadn’t?

  2. How long do you think it will take Trudie to recover from the traumatic events of the attack? What are some ways she could deal with it in a positive manner? Counseling? How about a negative manner? Alcohol?

  3. Kelcy is so confused with the dotted memories. Isn’t this the time she needs Colby most?

  4. Jarrod Sandoval returns. Why? What does he plan to do? Make friends?


Chapter Forty- One

  1. Kelcy nearly loses her life again! Maybe she shouldn’t have participated in the reality show! Right?


Chapter Forty-Two

  1. Wow, Colby is so romantic! Seriously, how many men these days would make a walkway out of candles in a dark house?

  2. Kelcy is back, 100%. Her reasoning is more clear than ever. She still struggles with her former self-image, though. Exposed on television to millions, she will always be known for what she used to look like. How will that affect her in the future? Do you think someone in her position can let go of that?

  3. Kelcy and Colby are getting married soon! What kind of wedding do you think they will have? Where will they go for their honeymoon? How will their love progress once they take their matrimonial vows?



  1. Trudie has come a long way since she left her homeland. How did she change?

  2. Did you like the ending of "Deadly Transformation"? Why? Why not?


Author’s Note

  1. Were you surprised to read that the attack at the villa is based on a true story? Especially the fact that a twelve-year-old boy truly was the hero that day?

  2. Do the facts about violence in the Caribbean make you think twice about traveling there? If you were to go, how would you pick a destination?

  3. Have you ever watched a reality show in which a contestant, or numerous contestants, impacted you in some way?

General Questions

Tweak these ideas for your book club interests

  1. How would you briefly describe "Deadly Transformation" to a friend?

  2. Between Kelcy and Trudie, which women's issues are addressed in the story?

  3. Which character do you like the most and why? The least and why?

  4. Who would you like to see more of? Less of?

  5. Are there situations and/or characters you can identify with? If so, how?

  6. What major emotion did the story evoke in you as a reader?

  7. At which point of the book were you most engaged? Conversely, were there any parts of the book that you felt dragged on?

  8. What is Kelcy’s turning point? Trudie’s? What was your reaction to that pivotal moment?

  9. Out of all the twists in the story, which one surprised you the most?

  10. If you could change something, what would it be and why?

  11. Are there any sub characters you would like to see have their own book? Collin? The Rumfola’s? The Sandovals?

  12. Which lessons in "Deadly Transformation" can you identify with?

  13. What, if anything, set this book apart from others you've read in a similar genre?

  14. Overall, did you enjoy this book? Would you recommend it to other readers? Why or why not?

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